Asking too much of "why" and "how" questions

  • #1
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Whenever I learn a theory or a concept in science, I keep asking too much of why? and how? questions. An example would be this:https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=765366 and this:www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=746990

But when I don't ask such type of silly questions, I feel as if I haven't understood the material and lack something in it. Also I keep asking myself this type of questions even for certain principles like piezo-electric property(why is it that when we apply force on 1 side, we get electric charges on the other. How is that possible in the real world?).

Also I learnt that Frequency band for Standard AM broadcast ranges from 540 to 1600 kHz(But my question is why? how exactly do they determine this range?)

Are asking such kind of questions awkward?

If yes, then what exactly is the way to understand fully the concepts behind each topic in science?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jtbell
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  • #3
russ_watters
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The first question wasn't answers because it made no sense without context.

Asking quality questions is itself a skill which we can help you with.
 
  • #4
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Whenever I learn a theory or a concept in science, I keep asking too much of why? and how? questions.

Are asking such kind of questions awkward?

If yes, then what exactly is the way to understand fully the concepts behind each topic in science?
I'd turn that on its head and as why you would think that its awkward? A healthy curiosity of why and how the world works the way it does is what drives most scientists to be scientists in the first place.

People only seek knowledge to the level that they want to understand it at, or to the level required by their industry if that is deeper. If you find yourself yearning for a deeper level of understanding than more shallow treatments, don't be apologetic for it. You're just going to have to work harder for it.
 
  • #5
jtbell
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A healthy curiosity of why and how the world works the way it does is what drives most scientists to be scientists in the first place.
Sure. It's only a problem if it distracts from whatever you're working on, and prevents you from continuing until you've finished chasing down a bunch of detours that don't affect the outcome of your current task. You have to be able to set aside questions like that for future study.
 
  • #6
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Sure. It's only a problem if it distracts from whatever you're working on, and prevents you from continuing until you've finished chasing down a bunch of detours that don't affect the outcome of your current task. You have to be able to set aside questions like that for future study.
Granted.
 
  • #7
lisab
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Sure. It's only a problem if it distracts from whatever you're working on, and prevents you from continuing until you've finished chasing down a bunch of detours that don't affect the outcome of your current task. You have to be able to set aside questions like that for future study.
NDT was asked by an interviewer once, "I always felt like maybe there was a little too much question asking in philosophy [of science]?"

Tyson: I agree.

Interviewer: At a certain point it's just futile.

Tyson: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. My concern here is that the philosophers believe they are actually asking deep questions about nature. And to the scientist it's, "What are you doing? Why are you concerning yourself with the meaning of meaning?"

Another interviewer: I think a healthy balance of both is good.

Tyson: Well, I'm still worried even about a healthy balance. Yeah, if you are distracted by your questions so that you can't move forward, you are not being a productive contributor to our understanding of the natural world. And so the scientist knows when the question "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" is a pointless delay in our progress. [Insert predictable joke by one interviewer, imitating the clapping of one hand.] How do you define "clapping"? All of a sudden it devolves into a discussion of the definition of words. And I'd rather keep the conversation about ideas. And when you do that, don't derail yourself on questions that you think are important because philosophy class tells you this. The scientist says, "Look, I got all this world of unknown out there. I'm moving on. I'm leaving you behind. You can't even cross the street because you are distracted by what you are sure are deep questions you've asked yourself. I don't have the time for that."
Spot-on, and a good reason why we don't entertain philosophy discussions here on PF.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/massi...on-and-the-value-of-philosophy_b_5330216.html
 
  • #8
donpacino
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Some personality types are driven by discovering truths. For some they are not truly invested until they discover the why or how. For others they won't rest until they find the why or how. Thats just the nature of some people, myself included. It is ok that you ask those questions.

Just attempt to restrain yourself from diving to the bottom of every rabbit hole you see...
 

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